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He said he plans to spruce the place up again, and reopen the hostel and party space he was running there.

Or maybe he’ll sell; he says he has been offered $300,000 — 30 times what he paid — but won’t settle for less than $750,000.

“That might sound like a lot, but it might actually end up being a bargain,” said Mr. Wielend, his green eyes twinkling as he gazed at the ocean from the cracked and graffiti-scrawled terrace. “Who knows, maybe in 10 years this will end up being the most valuable property in all of Rio de Janeiro.”